By: Fiona Dahlberg
Upon losing my phone for the 10th time in a day (by losing I mean misplacing or letting it fall behind the couch) and later panicking due to misplacing my keys, I decided something needed to be done about it. Especially when I felt like Google searching “where are my keys?” out of habit. As college students we have a lot on our plates and more things than ever to keep track of: wallets, phones, purses, backpacks, etc. My solution? Find an item that can help me keep track of everything, or at least a few of the more important ones. Little did I know there were tons of options out there to do just that.
Tile, TrackR, PROTAG, Pally Smart finder, PebbleBee Honey, Wuvo, and Chipolo being just a few of the many trackers out there. My first buy was a mistake for me. It was a cheap tracker from Walmart. I hooked it to my keys, got the app and set it up and every 10 minutes “BEEP BEEP BEEP!” Apparently the Bluetooth connection was very unstable, and every time the phone and tracker disconnected an alarm would sound, even I just put my keys in my purse! My first word of advice, don’t buy cheap ones. On that same note, most of the good ones range 20-30 dollars for one, but some have sales available to help you save money.
Below I have compiled a chart of the specs of the main trackers available:
|Waterproof||Replaceable Battery||Range||Can Alert Your Phone||Price||Comments|
|Tile||Yes||No, but Tile is replaced at a discount every year||100 ft||Yes||$25|
|Tracker||Water resistant||Yes||100 ft||Yes||$30||Seems to have a Bluetooth issue and alerts your phone whenever Bluetooth disconnects|
|Protag Duet||Not specified||Yes||90 ft||Yes||$30||Alerts your phone when you walk away or Bluetooth disconnects|
|Pally Smart Finder||No||Yes||200 ft||No||$40|
|Pebblebee Honey||Water resistant||Yes||150 ft||Yes||$25|
|Wuvo||Not specified||Yes||100 ft||Yes||$30||Can be closed and relaunched easily|
|Chipolo||Depends on the model||Depends on the model||200 ft with clear line of sight||Yes||$27|
Personally I chose the Tile due to my small apartment and lack of needing a larger range. There are many reasons why you may pick a different one however, maybe you like the simplicity of the Pally, the color choices of the Duet or Chipolo, or maybe you tend to just walk away from your phone accidentally and could use the alert feature of the TrackR or Duet. In any case they are very useful devices to have around and I highly recommend looking into purchasing one!Crowdsourcing GPS is the ability of other apps to detect your lost object (this does not allow them to connect their phone to your lost object and alert it) so that you can look at a map and know where it was last detected by anyone’s app.